Broadcasters Ask Court To Hold Off On White Spaces Decision - Broadcasting & Cable

Broadcasters Ask Court To Hold Off On White Spaces Decision

Move called pro forma while FCC deals with further challenges
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The National
Association of Broadcasters and the Association of Maximum Service Television
(MSTV) Monday asked a federal appeals court to hold off on ruling on their
appeal of the FCC's white spaces decision until the commission finishes hearing
more challenges to those rules.

That is
according to a filling to the court obtained by B&C and which MSTV and NAB both described as pro
forma.

Two years ago to
the day (Feb. 7, 2009), the NAB and MSTV filed suit against the commission's unanimous
decision
to allow unlicensed devices like laptops and smart radios to share the
spectrum also used by digital TV stations.

Broadcasters
have always been concerned that the devices could interfere with their signals,
signals they now have to defend from a government push to reclaim spectrum for
wireless broadband.

It has taken a
while for the FCC to come up with a process for implementing its decision,
which dates to fall 2008. It was not until just two weeks ago, for example, the
FCC agreed on which companies it would allow to run a database
to identify the
open channels those wireless devices could use.

The FCC
initially asked the court to delay a decision until the FCC decided on
petitions to reconsider the decision. The FCC received the petitions from a
number of parties including the cable industry, but not NAB or MSTV. Since they
took the FCC's initial decision straight to court, those two were precluded
from also filing petitions for reconsideration with the FCC.

The FCC ruled
on those petitions last September, granting parts and denying parts, but then
got petitions to reconsider that reconsideration decision.

While
suggesting the court keep the case on ice while the FCC resolves the new
challenges, NAB and MSTV have also asked the court to require the FCC to
file reports every 60 days on the status of its latest reconsideration.

The FCC Monday also, again, asked
the court to hold the case in abeyance.

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